TIRUCHY: A pall of gloom descended on West Uthara Street in Srirangam where a two-storey building collapsed on the building next to it, killing four workers and injuring three on Wednesday. The incident happened around 3 pm when the two-storey building, which was being renovated, collapsed due to imbalance in the supporting base of the building next to it.
The deceased include the supervising engineer involved in the renovation work.
A total of 15 workers, including four women, were engaged in renovating the house of P G Ranganatha Rao, who resides in Chennai. The work was being carried out for the past fortnight under the supervision of engineer Rangarajan (27).
On Wednesday, Rangarajan and his team were carrying out earthwork for locating a beam for the two-storey building when the beam of the nearby house began to shake. Immediately, Rangarajan alerted the other workers to stay away.
Even as the workers tried to move to safety, the building collapsed due to imbalance of the base of the adjacent building. But seven workers, including Rangarajan, were trapped under the debris.
On information, Police, Fire and Ambulance services started rescue operations. Three men were rescued, while four bodies were later retrieved.
Besides Rangarajan, the other deceased workers were identified as Gopi (40), Laxmanan (50) and Ramesh(47), all said to be from Veeramanipatti and Kuruvampatti villages in Manachanallur.
One of the survivors, Aandi (50), said, “We were asked to bring cement from the stock area a few meters from the building. As we were approaching the building, we heard our engineer shouting and asking us to stay away as the beam of the next building was shaking.
“Within seconds, a portion of the ceiling of the next building caved in,” he said.
The reason for the collapse is said to be the construction pattern on the street which has houses built without any space in between.
Vijay Anand, a resident of the area, said, “Almost all houses in the streets within the fort limits of Srirangam town are constructed without any space in between. All the buildings are interconnected and the balance of one building is dependent on the other. This is the prime reason for the accident.”